Tom Garrett is mad as hell
Fresh off the heels of voting May 4 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Representative Tom Garrett was in town May 11 to tour DaVita, a dialysis facility on Pantops, and to squeeze in a few minutes with local media (see excerpts below). That’s when we learned Garrett is angry about threats and hate mail he and his family have received stemming from an MSNBC interview and subsequent coverage of that, and he’s threatening legal action.
What he said in an interview with MSNBC when asked about Charlottesville protests against the repeal of ACA: “I would wager based on the locality that that particular event occurred in, I wasn’t there, that none of those people did vote for me.”
What he says he didn’t say: “Tom Garrett says he doesn’t care if people get care and if people die because they didn’t vote for him anyway. That’s a lie.”
Responses he got on social media: “Mr. Garrett, I want to slash your face with a knife until you no longer resemble anything human.”
His heated response to social media attacks: “I’m doing the best I can. We might have different economic preferences. Shame on the people who do that sort of thing. “
What he says is the media’s responsibility: “You have a duty to point out when people lie.”
On not reading the American Health Care Act: “The reality of life is you have a staff to do this job.”
On protests at his office: “Keep protesting. It’s okay. This is America. It’s awesome. Disagreement is fine. Don’t lie.”
“I think it’s probably time to repeal and replace the beard.”
—Congressman Tom Garrett on his look since the election
MLK slept here
The motel where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed in 1963, a few weeks before he was jailed in Birmingham, went up in flames May 4. The 1955-built Gallery Court Motel on Emmet Street became a Budget Inn and in its latest incarnation, was rehabbed into Excel Inn. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Victor Andrei, the man who allegedly assaulted a firefighter and led police on a brief chase when he was denied entry into the Excel Inn during the fire, was granted bond May 8. Andrei, a grad student at George Mason University, told NBC29 he had a school project due the following day and his materials were in his hotel room.
Former Albemarle spokesperson Lee Catlin, now assistant county executive, will retire November 1 after 25 years. Catlin was half of a county power couple, and her husband, former planning director Wayne Cilimberg, retired last year.
Next to last of the Republican mayors
Gunther “Dutch” Vogt, 95, who was Charlottesville’s mayor in 1968, died May 2 in Knoxville. The big issue of the day then was an unsuccessful referendum to merge the city with Albemarle County, which council supported, he said in a 2006 interview. About serving on City Council, he said, “It was a good experience, but I wouldn’t want to do it again.”
Late night snack
County police are asking for information about a Saturday night attempted food truck robbery behind Pro Re Nata in Crozet. A white man described as in his 20s or 30s and a woman in her late teens or early 20s fled on foot. One held a gun, but no injuries were reported and no money was stolen.
Amherst woman Mary C. Tenhoopen-Jones, 75, was charged May 3 after driving the wrong way on U.S. 29 in Nelson County around 10pm, refusing to stop and crashing into a state trooper cruiser while going 20mph, according to a release.